Saturday, November 17, 2012
Comic Review: Lord of the Jungle #9
This week's comic book review finds Tarzan heading to France. Viva La Jungle Lord!
Following his adventures in Baltimore, Tarzan hopes to find peace in Paris. But before he reaches land he ends up rescuing the Countess De Coude from two unknown assailants. Her attackers escape and her husband's response is to chew out Tarzan for being alone with his wife. Talk about gratitude! On reaching Paris Tarzan reunites with his friend Paul D'Arnot who fills in the blanks: the attackers were Russian spy Nicholas Rokoff and his associate Paulovitch, who are suspected of stealing an ancient manuscript that leads the to the fabled city of Opar. Another copy is kept by the Count De Coude, who is attempting to sell his copy to pay off debts. When D'Arnot suggests going under cover at a party the De Coudes are throwing to catch Rokoff, Tarzan agrees and the search is on! Oh and we find out that Jane Porter is heading back to Africa.
As you can tell from that description there has been some major reworking of the plot from The Return of Tarzan, in this case streamlining the novel's episodic nature to a single plot-Tarzan's pursuit of Rokoff to Opar. I admit that is actually a good idea as it focuses the story into a strong narrative and keeps Tarzan front and center. Also returning writer Arvid Nelson does some character restructuring to help keep up the drama. Turning De Coude into an obnoxious count does fulfill the plot requirements for this version, even though I miss the building up of his friendship with Tarzan from the novel. Nelson also gives Jane and Esmeralda in their brief appearance enough to work with. So while it doesn't stick to the novel, it retains enough flavor to keep it enjoyable.
The good news is the return of Roberto Castro to do the artwork after the last two issues. He brings a good hand to the characters, bringing back Tarzan and Jane as realistic looking characters while adding enough texture and color to keep the reader's eye glued to the page.
I'll end by giving this issue a good thumbs up. That's it, just buy it and enjoy the fun.